Monday, May 15, 2017

Meet the Newly Named "Car of Texas"--The 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Photos courtesy of Marshall Tidrick.

2017 CAR OF TEXAS--Alfa Romeo Giulia

The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) gathered for the annual Texas Auto Roundup, presented by the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), to drive and evaluate 42 vehicles within 11 categories at the Circuit of the Americas May 5-8. We were among 52 journalists who evaluated vehicles on the Formula 1 racetrack.

Speed Dating: Getting to Know 6 Sedans With Distinctly Different Personalities

You might be looking for just that right sedan that inspires you, yet reflects who you truly are.  Choices and personalities run the gamut.

Buick LaCrosse-Large and Elegant

Euro Manufacturers Declare Global War in the CUV Competition

On American roadways, crossover utility vehicles now represent about every one in three vehicles you’ll spot. The Europeans bring to the table all that their brand names signify in terms of prestige, performance and sheer beauty, while also answering to the same practical needs that led to the CUV revolution.

Jaguar’s F-Pace is a thing of beauty with some of 
the best backseat legroom, cargo space and 
off-road-friendly ground clearance.  

Lots of Bang for the Buck Among Compact Crossovers

The compact crossover subcategory is one of the fastest-growing vehicle segments.  Fierce competition leads carmakers to try to outdo one another on options, styling and price, translating to benefits for buyers moving from sedans into utility vehicles or those downsizing from larger utility vehicles.  The segment generally starts from the mid-$20s ( closer to $30K for the hybrids).  Trim level upgrades make it enticing for most to spend $5K or so more.

Nissan introduces a new hybrid Rogue.

The Compact Competition

Compact no longer means bare bones when it comes to fit, finish and features in the compact car segment. Today’s compacts are increasingly comparable to their larger counterparts when it comes to options, and thoughtful design makes them evermore roomy, quiet and comfortable.  Average pricing in the segment ranges from $18K to just under $30K.

RAM Listens To Its Customers to Deliver on the Details

by Nick Smirnis

The ready out-of-the-box aftermarket look is epitomized by the RAM Rebel, which features an aggressive, no nonsense blacked out grill and side mirrors.  Delmonico Red is a new no-charge addition to the Rebel family of colors.

RAM trucks is promoting new colors, new aesthetic options and a new RAM Rebel—their increasingly recognized off-road edition among its 1500 series.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Gamechangers: As Autonomous Cars Pose to Change The Reasons We Drive, Invest in Driving Dynamics and Off-Road Capability for Fun Now; Nostalgia Later

Have you stopped to think about what’s going to happen to…our love of speed... the thrill driving the open highways…the status associated with owning a particular car... once autonomous vehicles take over the roadways?  Will the governing powers restrict human driving?

There’s disagreement on whether the impending autonomous era will help or hurt future auto sales.  John Krafcik, who held positions with Ford and Hyundai prior to becoming the chief executive officer of Google's self-driving car project, says we will still have “as many – or maybe more – exciting, emotional, wonderful performance cars in the future.”  Ford concurs it will continue to build cars for driving enthusiasts even as autonomous vehicles become more commonplace.

The 2020’s self-driving cars may just get the people who are not driving enthusiasts off the streets, while racetracks, dirt rally courses and hill climbs will become the weekend passion of true car enthusiasts.  Is that such a bad thing?  Driving becomes a sport, instead of the dreaded, stressful and dangerous daily grind?  If this is the case, perhaps now would be a great time to invest in tomorrow’s nostalgic speedster or off-road toy.